The Island Coffee Shop

158 Galle Road, Bambalapitiya

The Island Coffee shop is so utterly charming and captures perfectly the spirit of a Colombo that is now slipping from the collective memory - an age where nothing was imported and everything had to be local.

Coffee shops instantly make me think of a fancy franchise cafe with young and friendly staff in uniforms making coffee in big coffee machines. However, when you enter Island Coffee you are taken back in time to an era when people from vintage cars would drop by for a cup of coffee on their way to work. Although in their time they were just called, you know, cars. 

Being a vintage fanatic myself the ancient coffee grinding equipment and stacks of local coffee piled in a corner made me squeal inside.

Ambience & Service

A small spot on the corner of Shrubbery Gardens and Galle Road, the ambience is the main thing to focus on when it comes to this place. The owner was very cooperative and took time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions. He probably noticed my enthusiasm for the ancient coffee machines cause I kept snapping pictures.

Founded in 1964, The Island Coffee Shop stays true to its name, buying their coffee locally from a selected group of buyers in Kandy and Matale, as they have been doing for years, so quality fluctuates. Their factory is in Homagama and I was told they use a special blend when it comes to the brewing of their coffee. 

You can also buy their coffee beans (which is relatively cheap although prices depend on the beans) and have them ground to your own liking. 

The Coffee

The only readymade coffee they have is iced coffee at Rs. 40 and I really liked it. It is a lot less sweeter than the average iced coffee you get from Perera and Sons or Caravan Fresh, and tastes quite heady.


This is not the kind of coffee shop where you can go read a book and enjoy a cuppa but it definitely is a spot if you're a coffee enthusiast and intrigued by its local history. It's refreshing to see a place that is willing to preserve a time in Colombo which many of us have forgotten. 

Read our old review for even more views on this old school spot.


Come here, its just amazingly quaint and the Rs. 40 Ice Coffee is bang for your buck. It's on the corner of Shrubbery Gardens and the Galle Road sort of opposite CASA Colombo.


158 Galle Road, Bambalapitiya


Open 10 AM to 5.30 PM

Price Range

Less than 200

Dish Types


Ratings Breakdown

Overall Rating
Quality Rating
Service Rating
Ambience Rating